Tax and Legal Links for Sole Traders
- Trading Licences
- Business Name
- Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)
- Occupational Health Registration
- Registration for of a Bargaining Council (BC)
- Trade Mark, Copyright, Patents and Designs
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has a easy-to-use website with all relevant forms and guides. As a sole trader you will probably need to complete the provisional tax registration form, a VAT registration form, an employees' tax form as well as the income tax registration form.
Some types of business, for example those selling food, or running health or entertainment facilities, need a special trading license before they are legal. The process of registering your business is described here. This publication provides more detail on Trading Licences.
When you give your business a name, you need to register the name according to the registration rules. A Sole Trader does not have to register the name but for future use, and to protect your business name, it is worth doing it because then you know the name is exclusively yours. The first place to start is to check that the name of the business is not already in use by another business.
Get all the information about this rewarding process here. A quick link to the name search is here.
For more information and municipal contact details, click here.
If you have employees, you are required to make UIF contributions on their behalf. These contributions are partly deducted from the employees' salaries and are partly paid by the employer. Find a summary here on UIF from the perspective of an employer or jump straight to the form where you can register as a commercial employer.
There are special rules protecting domestic workers so they do not fall under the protection of this general UIF. For more about domestic workers and UIF as well as other UIF information, click here.
Employees and employers are allowed insurance if they are injured in the workplace (in certain circumstances) through the government programme to protect workers and employers in the workplace. Click here to read more about this.
Trade unions and employers' organisations can form bargaining councils. Bargaining councils deal with collective agreements and solve labour disputes, establish various schemes (funds) and can even make proposals on labour policies and laws. To register, read here for more information.
Trademarks, copyright, patents, models and designs are all forms of intellectual property. Intellectual property can be any idea, invention or design that is yours originally and officially. That is why it is important to get you idea or invention protected by the special area of law dealing with this. It is called Intellectual Property Law. The law provides usage and control rights to the idea so you can develop it without a competitor coming along and stealing it before you have achieved what you need to with it.
There is information here to help you make sure you protect your copyright, patents and designs.
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